Art Briles issued his first public statement Thursday since he was fired last week as the head football coach at Baylor.
Briles sent the statement to Waco, Texas, TV station KWTX. Here is his full statement:
My heart goes out to the victims for the pain that they have endured. Sexual assault has no place on our campus or in our society. As a father of two daughters, a grandfather, and a husband, my prayers are with the victims of this type of abuse, wherever they are. After 38 years of coaching, I have certainly made mistakes and, in hindsight, I would have done certain things differently. I always strive to be a better coach, a better father and husband, and a better person.
Keep in mind, the complete scope of what happened here has not been disclosed and unfortunately at this time I am contractually obligated to remain silent on the matter. The report prepared by Pepper Hamilton, the law firm hired and paid for by Baylor's Board of Regents, has not been shared with me directly, despite my full cooperation with the investigation. I can only assume that the report, which is not independent, supports the conclusions that the Board has already drawn. I hope to share with you what I was aware of as soon as I can so Baylor Nation can begin the healing process.
I have the utmost admiration for Baylor University, its community, and its important mission. I am truly grateful for having had the chance to coach hundreds of young student athletes at this University. I am deeply humbled for having had the opportunity to be a part of Baylor Nation.
Coach Art Briles
The letter sparked a comparison to the statement Joe Paterno made when he retired from Penn State in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky saga five years ago.
Does Art Briles' note feel... familiar? Compare his mea culpa (L) with Paterno's (R). pic.twitter.com/TN9xejGS2s— Jim Weber (@JimMWeber) June 2, 2016
On Wednesday, Ken Starr, who was moved from president to chancellor last week by the Baylor board of regents, announced he was stepping down as chancellor but will remain as a law professor at the university. Starr told ESPN he was resigning “as a matter of conscience.”
“We need to put this horrible experience behind us,” Starr told ESPN. “We need to be honest.”
Starr added that he “didn’t know what was happening” regarding allegations of Baylor’s mishandling of sexual assault allegations, but he “willingly accepted responsibility,” per the interview.
FOX Sports reporter Bruce Feldman tweeted Wednesday night that Starr cancelled his interview with him after the airing of the ESPN interview.
Ken Starr interview that I thought was on for today is, now, off. Starr's PR people called back to say he's spent & can't do it.— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) June 1, 2016
Feldman also wrote that Baylor is not letting its recruits who signed with the football team earlier this year out of their scholarships.
Earlier this week, Ian McCaw resigned as athletic director after appointing former Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe as the interim coach at Baylor.